March 26, 2020, Raising awareness to drive social change, Dr. Sania Nishtar, PM’s Special Assistant on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation advised masses in rural areas to avoid social gatherings/baithaks and sharing of hookah as these cultural practices may spread Corona. She was answering live questions of audience in today’s national hook up program, ‘Raabta’ on Corona virus. Further, Dr. Nishtar urged the public to strictly follow preventive measures and avoid misinformation from unofficial sources. This will help us break the chain and protect ourselves from the pandemic. Listen here
March 25, 2020, In today’s episode of Radio Pakistan’s national hook up program, ‘Raabta’ that aims to create awareness on Corona outbreak, Dr. Sania Nishtar, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation discussed the Prime Minister’s multi-billion rupees economic relief package. She informed listeners that the government has announced this massive package to offset the adverse economic impacts of COVID-19 emergency across the country particularly laborers and daily wagers. Listen here.
March 24, 2020, Talking about the importance of social distancing and self-isolation to combat the spread of Corona Virus in Pakistan, Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation, Dr. Sania Nishtar encouraged listeners to stay at homes and follow the precautionary measures. She reiterated that there is a public health reason for social distancing. Staying at least three feet away from other people, lessens your chances of catching COVID-19. Dr. Maj. Gen(R) Dr. Azhar Mehmood Kayani also participated in the program and created awareness about Corona Virus and heart patients. ‘Raabta’ is Radio Pakistan’s national hook up program that is broadcast live every morning to create awareness among masses on Corona virus outbreak. Listen here.
March 21, 2020 – Islamabad: Ehsaas and Saylani Welfare International Trust (SWIT) have decided to run “Ehsaas-Saylani Langar on Wheels” to deliver cooked food aid to needy people particularly labourers and daily wagers. This commenced at a busy bus station at Faizabad, the junction of twin cities Islamabad-Rawalpindi. To inaugurate the first Ehsaas mobile food unit that will distribute food two times daily, Dr. Sania Nishtar, Prime Minister’s Special Assistant on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation was joined by Yousuf Lakhani, President, SWIT. Mobile vans aimed to combat hunger will discourage people from congregating at one spot for free food collection and will serve at various points in cities including public places, slums and hospitals while explicitly ensuring dignity and social distance for the safety of people. As people are at the risk of small income generating opportunities due to the pandemic emergency in the country, this food aid concept will be stretched out soon to a bigger, better and faster scale across all major cities of Pakistan as part of the Ehsaas framework. Footage can be accessed here.
March 20, 2020-Islamabad: As the coronavirus spreads out and the government takes rigorous measures to slow down the spread of the pandemic, Ehsaas continues educating citizens with health protection guidelines alongside measures to ensure that their services are ongoing. Dr. Sania Nishtar, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation visited an Ehsaas partner loans office in outskirts of the federal capital. She was accompanied by Qazi Azmat Isa, who is the CEO of Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund (PPAF), the implementing agency of the Ehsaas initiative which provides loans through partners- Akhuwat being the largest of the 24 partners. While monitoring the Ehsaas interest free loan operations, Dr. Nishtar, advised the public not to panic but follow the precautionary measures being communicated by the government. Talking to the media, she stated, “As a social protection ministry, we are conscious that we need to continue assisting those who need our services, the most in these difficult times. Day before yesterday we decided to continue running our cash transfer operations for the Ehsaas Kafaalat beneficiaries, as these families need financial assistance. However, on the other hand we closed our registration centres, where large number of women congregate for registration.” She said, further adding, “We have to strike a balance between safety and assistance, as the latter is the need of the hour; also we are conscious that we must continue to provide credit in these difficult times, which is the lifeline of the small entrepreneurs and therefore, we decided not to shut our loan offices”.
March 20, 2020, To create awareness about Corona virus emergency, Dr. Sania Nishtar, Prime Minister’s Special Assistant on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation reaches out to wider national audience through ‘Raabta’, a national hook up radio program broadcast every day at 10 am. Participating in today’s live program, Dr. Sania Nishtar talked about the several initiatives being taken by the government of Pakistan to combat the spread of Corona Virus in the country. She gave detailed statistics about facilities set up by the government for the general public particularly authorized health centers, quarantines and Corona test facilities. Communicating directly with listeners, she said, “War against Corona is new type of war and collective efforts by the government and citizens are the need of hour to win it. Dr. Rana Jawad Asghar, a renowned epidemiologist from Islamabad also joined the program. Listen here
March 19, 2020, Connecting with general public through Radio Pakistan’s live national hook up program, ‘Raabta’, Dr. Sania Nishtar, SAPM on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation gave valuable advice to listeners for prevention against Corona Virus. Guiding listeners, she said that the government is taking all measures to cope with the situation. Currently, 35 fully equipped isolation wards have been set up in all provinces including Gilgit Baltistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir. Islamabad based epidemiologist, Dr. Rana Jawad Asghar also participated in the program. Listen here
March 18, 2020, To respond to Corono virus crisis, Dr. Sania Nishtar, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation, participated as a special guest in Radio Pakistan’s special nationally electrified programme ‘Raabta’ and reflected on measures taken by the Government to prevent the spread of Corona virus. She guided listeners about how to protect from COVID-19 by avoiding touching hands with eyes, mouth and nose, shaking hands and hugging. Further, giving Corona prevention advice to listeners, she recommended that one should keep distance of about three feet while interacting with each other and use hand sanitizers. People who are suffering from Corona Virus and those who are looking after them are required to wear mask. There is currently no vaccine to prevent Corona Virus disease 2019 (COVID-19).The best way to prevent illness is to stay at home and avoid being exposed to this virus. Listen here.
March 17, 2020 – Islamabad: Given the Corona Virus pandemic across Pakistan, Dr. Sania Nishtar, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation will be reaching out the wider national audience every morning through Radio Pakistan’s live program, “Raabta” relating to Corona outbreak. Aiming to address the need of the hour, Dr. Nishtar together with Dr. Rana Jawad Asghar who is an expert in epidemiology, will hold new program on daily basis to educate the masses about Corona virus, its transmission, symptoms and precautionary measures. They will reply to questions of listeners who can connect with them on telephone by calling directly at 051-9206995 and 051-9215206. Talking to the people in today’s program, Dr. Nishtar highlighted the measures being taken by the Government of Pakistan to fight this epidemic and urged them to fully cooperate with government by following all required precautionary measures to defeat coronavirus. This program would also be translated and broadcast in Punjabi, Saraiki, Sindhi, Pushto, Balochi and Barahvi languages and can be listened everyday at 10 am through this link.
March 17, 2020- Islamabad: Since Covid-19 outbreak has now been classified as a pandemic, Ehsaas has come up with preventive measures for Kafaalat beneficiaries to ensure their safety while trying to continue biometrically enabled Kafaalat payments in the field. Taking into consideration, the current situation wherein Corona epidemic has potentially affected several areas of Pakistan, Kafaalat registration centres mobilized by NADRA across 15 districts of Pakistan have been advised to suspend self-registration drive from March 16, 2020 till April 5, 2020. Alongside that, Ehsaas has issued precautionary protocols to stringently comply with sanitization, hygiene and social distance while making biometrically enabled payments to Ehsaas Kafaalat beneficiaries. To ascertain the compliance of the above beneficiary safety system aimed to combat the corona outbreak, Dr. Sania Nishtar, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation visited an HBL Konnect outlet in Islamabad and demonstrated the precautionary procedure to the women who had gathered at the point of sales to get newly released tranche of Rs. 9,000 that includes previous arrears.
March 13, 2020 – Islamabad: The British High Commission and the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) in partnership with civil society organisation Idara-i-Taleem-o-Aagahi (ITA) hosted a discussion and marketplace event titled, ‘Leave No Girl Behind: Scaling up What Works for Adolescent Girls in Pakistan’ in Islamabad. In her keynote address, Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation, Dr. Sania Nishtar lauded the civil society initiative which has a long-standing history of work to promote a second-chance-for-girls in education. Reiterating further, she stated, ‘Government is conscious of glaring gender disparities in many sectors across Pakistan. Attention to women issues particularly social protection, education, livelihoods and economic empowerment is central to Prime Minister’s multisectoral Ehsaas program. We stringently follow 50 percent plus benefits policy for women under Ehsaas to create equal opportunities for them across the board ensuring that no girl is left behind. Ehsaas Kafaalat, undergraduate scholarships, interest free loans and Amdan are specifically aimed to bring women on the pathways to socioeconomic prosperity.’
March 10, 2020-Islamabad: Prime Minister launched the Ehsaas District Development Portal titled, “Data4Pakistan” that provides open and public access to a spatial interactive portal with poverty estimates, interactive maps, indices and reports for every district in Pakistan, along with over 120 development and policy indicators. The portal currently has six rounds of district poverty and development data, covering the period 2004-18. Addressing the ceremony, the PM said, “A civilized society is known by the standard of living of its poor. This is the first step in finding the necessary ways and means to fight poverty and will help identify areas which are in most need of funds, besides finding other vital statistics about issues being faced by local people.” The portal has been developed in collaboration with the World Bank. This portal will be a very valuable resource for federal, provincial and district level policymakers, for decision making. Earlier, demonstrating the features of this ground-breaking Ehsaas initiative, Dr. Sania Nishtar, SAPM on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation stated, “Data4Pakistan is one of the 134 programs and policies under Ehsaas that is aimed to leverage data and technology to create solutions for welfare.” The portal can be accessed here.